Jorge Pardo was born in Cuba in 1963. He moved to the U.S. when he was 6 and didn't visit Cuba for 43 years, when his work was included in the 2012 Havana Biennial. That installation, titled "Dads Cuba," has been reinstalled at 1301PE. It's vintage Pardo: casually magnificent.
In Cuba, "Dads Cuba" was not installed all at once. As its star-shaped wood panels were mechanically routed and then painted by hand, they were hung, one after another. Fitting together like puzzle pieces, they eventually filled a gallery at the Wifredo Lam Center.
Then Pardo added lamps. Like his interlocking starburst paintings, which functioned as heavy-duty, reusable wallpaper, his lamps combined sculptural beauty and utilitarian illumination.
In Los Angeles, Pardo has reversed the installation process. When the show opened in November, 31 lamps hung from the ceiling, their colorful fabric skins casting a rusty golden glow in the gallery.
This week, the wall works are scheduled to go up, one at a time, until the walls are covered. The installation won't be finished until the show closes in January, when a party will be thrown.
That's also vintage Pardo. Emphasizing art's roots in everyday pleasures, he treats his works into backdrops for social occasions where friends and strangers might meet up and enjoy what Oscar Wilde described as art's true purpose: civilized discourse (otherwise known as friendly conversation).